Susan Armstrong offers a lesson in overcoming self-limiting beliefs
The other day I was watching the animals in my backyard.
As an animal lover I have a bird feeder/squirrel feeder… because, you know, you can’t keep the squirrels out of a birdfeeder so I just make sure there is something for everyone… and I witnessed something that caused me to pause: I saw a chipmunk; maybe 3” long and very tiny, go head-to-head with a big black squirrel who was easily three or four times his size, fighting over who was going to win the right to dine on the peanuts.
I watched this, marvelling at the ferocity of the little, tiny chipmunk. He just was not giving up.
He took on this black squirrel and, he won. The squirrel ran away, and the tiny chipmunk jumped up onto the feeder and commenced filling his cheeks with his prize.
As I stood there watching this, it occurred to me that there were a couple of very important lessons in watching this chipmunk: first of all… the chipmunk won.
His opponent was bigger, stronger and weighed a lot more than the chipmunk but the chipmunk still took him on and won. Why? Because the chipmunk didn’t know that he couldn’t win.
As an animal he doesn’t have the ability like we humans do to know that the odds are against him. He wanted the food, the squirrel was in his way and so he took on the squirrel. The chipmunk won because the chipmunk doesn’t have the capacity to know that he shouldn’t have won.
Think about it…if the chipmunk were human, what would it have thought? He would have thought that the squirrel was so much larger, and heavier than he, and logic would have dictated that the squirrel would win.
The chipmunk would have been worried that the squirrel would beat him up, he might have even thought things like “he’s much bigger than me, I’m silly to try this”, “I’ll never win so why even try”, or “that’s crazy!
Who do I think I am taking on a big squirrel?” I’m wondering now if any of this sounds familiar to you?
I believe we do this to ourselves. Our human ability to rationalise and apply logic often prevents us from going after the very things we say we want.
We believe that we don’t deserve it, or it will never happen, or, we will fail.
And, instead of trying… instead of working toward what we want we give up before we even start.
I do believe we should be like that chipmunk… that chipmunk won because he didn’t know he couldn’t. So what would you do if you knew you could not fail?
Today, go and be a chipmunk! Take on whatever it is that scares you… do it anyway and even if it doesn’t work out, you have broken out of your rut and you have practice overcoming your fears for the next time. You have become unstuck! After all, you know what they say: each failure brings you closer to success!
This brings us to the second lesson from the chipmunk and the squirrel: perseverance. If you study successful people, however you define success – whether that be financial success, success in love or just in level of happiness – you will find that they kept at it.
Success didn’t come on the first try – it certainly didn’t for me. You have to work at it; you have to continue to try, to refine, test new ideas and new approaches.
That’s how you find success. Not by trying it once and giving up! Not by saying things like “see… I knew it wouldn’t work!” You need to keep at it.
What is it you really want? What are you sick and tired of? You can change it! Just keep trying until you get it right – and get it right you will. Overnight success is a myth, you have to keep trying and never give up and there are plenty of examples of this everywhere.
It’s high time we stopped letting our own self-limiting beliefs or our fear of failure, of not being perfect, dictate our future. We don’t have to stay stuck in our unhappiness, self-hatred, misery and poverty.
Everyone deserves happiness and prosperity and it’s out there for all of us.
The only thing preventing us from achieving it is our believe about what is possible so the next time you find yourself saying things like “I can’t do that”, “it’s never going to work”, “I’m not good enough to…”, or anything that resembles a statement that keeps you stuck where you are – push it away. Refuse to listen. Replace the negative “I can’t” with “Yes, I can!” Replace the self-loathing with self-respect and love; choose for once to believe the positive.
You might be surprised at what will happen and you will never know what’s possible unless you try, and try, and then try some more.
Susan Armstrong is a professional speaker, author and trainer working to help people break free to success and happiness. Visit www.susanarmstrongspeaks.com for more free information on how to transform your life now!
Susan Armstrong will speak in Seminar Room 3 at The Best You Expo on 27 February 2016. Book your place at thebestyouexhibition.com where you can also download The Best You Expo programme today!